UHF: Drink your veggies

I'm taking off for the weekend to head to Austin and visit my brother. I thought it would only be appropriate to fill the void with an Undercover Hippie File. Have a Happy Easter!

I could have easily titled this post "How I have been survived Lent." Whenever I get the urge to eat ice cream, I just make a green smoothie. It isn't quite the same, but it's healthy. In fact, now that sugar is basically out of my system, these taste super sweet and delicious to me. For a while, I even felt like I was cheating with Lent since I liked them so much! And while I feel like green smoothies have been all over the internet lately, when talking to a few real like friends who read my blog they seemed interested in how we do them, so I am posting it anyway.

It isn't complicated. A green smoothie is a smoothie with some sort of greens in it. (I like spinach, it has a mild flavor that is easily hidden but I have heard others use kale. And we already grow wheat grass for a kitty snack so I have thought about trying to add that.) It's a great way to sneak in more veggies to your diet because you can't taste the spinach. Really, you can't. And even though I'm the pickier eater in our family of two so I don't really need to sneak veggies for Craig nor am I fooled when I make myself a smoothie, we can always benefit from more greens in our diet. Especially raw vegetables.

You can use any smoothie recipe you like, just be sure to blend the liquid ingredients and the spinach first then add your frozen items. That way the spinach gets fully mixed in. Here is my basic recipe (sorry, it is really vague):
  • A couple big spoonfuls of yogurt
  • A squirt of honey
  • A few tablespoons of orange juice (I have used milk and water instead when we are out of juice, but I like the sweetness and flavor of the orange juice. Last time I made it without orange juice, Craig asked why it tasted so "different." So use it, unless you don't have any or are really avoiding sugar - how is that for ambiguity)
  • A cup or so of fresh spinach (You can work your way up to a cup if you are skeptical but from what I have heard, do not try to use frozen spinach. You will end up with yucky chunks in your smoothie.)
Blend until smooth. Then add:
  • some frozen bananas (They are both super cheap and make smoothie sweet and creamy)
  • other frozen fruit (Anything works but peaches and strawberries are our favorites, mostly for budget reasons. Raspberries and blueberries are great if they come on sale though.)
The amount of frozen fruit you add is really dependent on taste and thickness*. Less fruit makes a drinkable smoothie, more fruit and you might need a spoon.

If you are serving others who are unsure about the whole green smoothie thing, start with a berry smoothie.The dark color hides the green very well and you can't even see that there is spinach it it. Peach is a great flavor but the smoothie will be very green!

*It also depends on your blender. My old blender was a hand me down from a friend when he moved away, at least three years ago. It was in sad sad shape and couldn't handle a thick smoothie. That is why I also started making smoothies in two steps. We finally threw away that old blender (sorry Lance :-) and got a super awesome new one which can handle anything but I still like the two step method. It's not only powerful but it is vintage looking and only has two options, pulse and on. Why do I need 7 options in a blender? If you are in need of a blender, I highly recommend the Osterizer Classic Beehive. It's loud but gets the job done well.


  1. I would totally try that (we always have leftover spinach after we make salads), if only the blender hadn't sat unloved and unclaimed on our registry. Maybe someday.

  2. Our Bradley coach offered a prize for trying a spinach smoothy. I wasn't scared off it, but I did need the motivation to actually make one since I'm not much of a smoothy person now that I can use protein powder. The color was very odd, but since green tea lattes from Star Bucks are one of my favorites, it didn't take me long to put it in the tasty category in spite of the color.